1 Week Left—Scrubs' Happy Nursemas! Pop-Up Shop

Nurses, Certified Nursing Aides and professional caregivers are vital to quality senior care. Scrubs Magazine is showing the love by featuring 50 gifts under $50 dollars in their Holiday Pop-Up Shop. They are also offering the Caregiverlist community 15% off any and all items with the promo code: HOLIDAY1. At that price, you should be able to find a gift for everyone on your list.

Here’s some of our favorite finds:

Outback Purse Organizer

This Outback Pouchee purse organizer has everything you need to straighten up your purse and keep things exactly where you can find them. Made of high quality faux leather, the compact organizer features credit card pockets on the outside for easy access, inside dividers, an expander for additional space, inside zippered pockets for change, handy rings for ease of changing bags, outside pockets for pens and sunglasses, inside pockets for lipsticks or keys and a light-colored liner so that you can easily see all of its contents.
Pouchee,  $27.99 

Eden Heavy Winter Scarf



These 100% Ethiopian cotton scarves are perfect to throw on to stay stylish and warm. Simple and chic, the handwoven scarf has complimentary colored threads woven together to create beautiful shades that will gain weekend mileage in your wardrobe. Named after the women weavers in Ethiopia, each scarf purchase helps create sustainable business in Africa, and has a handwritten thank-you card attached.
fashionAble ,$49.99

Sweet Mango Body Butter



There's nothing nicer than going home after a long, cold shift, taking a hot shower and lathering up in body butter before slipping on your PJs and parking it on the sofa. We love this 4-ounce Sweet Leaf Bath cream that has a gentle mango scent and nourishes and moisturizes even the driest skin. Packaged in a 100% compostable jar, the butter is made from natural ingredients including real mango butter, macadamia nut oil, vitamin E and essential oils. 
Sweet Leaf Bath, $21.99

The Holidays are the perfect time to show your appreciation for the senior caregiver in your life. And if you are a caregiver, it’s also the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to something special. Do it now—the pop-up shop, along with its great deals—goes away December 13.

Happy Shopping!

Tips for a Successful Hospital Stay and Discharge

Hospital stays are an unfortunate aspect of getting older. Many times, those stays are unexpected, such as those resulting from an injury incurred during a fall. These are the times when a senior caregiver really needs to step up and take charge understanding and coordinating care while in the hospital and preparing for the hospital discharge.

John Boden, founder of The Life Ledger, an online geriatric care management system, discusses the caregiver’s role when their elder is admitted to the hospital.

I recently had a minor problem, now resolved, that required a hospital admission via the ER. The experience was a rude awaking. I have lots of experience with handling the various aspects of a hospitalization, yet I found my own stay very challenging and was reminded that an elder would be confused about what was happening.

When an elder in your life goes to the hospital, you need to be ready to help. Being on site is difficult and a huge intrusion into your own life, but it is very important in helping to get the best care. Scheduling of tests, doctor’s visits, therapy, ordering meals etc., is done at the staff’s convenience because of the view that the patient is always available and ready for them. In fact it may seem that just when you have stepped out to go to the cafeteria, the doctor will show up.

So now that you have dropped everything to come to the rescue and are filling your caregiver role, what should you do? Bring a notebook so you can keep your own record of the names of the various doctors, nurses, aides and therapists, what the therapy procedures are to be, and what tests have been taken and what the results are. Make note of what medications were administered. When you have this information you can help to see that there is proper coordination among the many different people providing care as the shifts change and the doctor’s associates show up.

After you have survived the stay, you will meet the challenges of the discharge. I suggest you start planning for discharge as soon as possible. If rehabilitation or homemaker assistance will be needed, you can investigate what facilities or agencies are available and which one you prefer. You will need to get the medication list and be sure there are no omissions or conflicts and see that both the new medications as well as those that were part of the past regime will be available as soon as they are needed. Therapy, diet, follow-up appointments and much more will also be part of the discharge orders. The main goal to keep in mind for any hospital admission is getting out as soon as possible with no new problems such as infections.

Nursing homes have become an extension of hospital care for seniors, providing rehabilitation services, ongoing care for age-related illnesses and hospice care. Medicare will pay for up to 100 days in a nursing home, which means many seniors will transfer to a nursing home after a hospital stay. You can research Daily Prices of Nursing Homes Nationwide and Ratings on Most Important Criteria with Caregiverlist’s easy-to-use Nursing Home Star Rating tool.

Assessing Senior Care at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to gather together as family and evaluate the needs of your senior loved one. This is the time, for many families, when siblings will be together and we feel it’s a great opportunity to review the safety and well-being of mom and/or dad.

We at Caregiverlist publish a list of issues for family discussion. Remember to get your senior involved and really listen to what they have to say.

Medical Issues:
Treated early, some age-related illnesses can be given the proper medical attention in order to slow progression. Take the time to think about any care needs your senior relative may need as their health conditions change. It is sometimes easier for those who do not see their parents and grandparents often to notice changes than for those who have daily interactions with them. How is their hearing? Their vision? Are your elder relatives getting dressed, washed and prepared for their day? Are they taking their medications at a regular time each day? Are they exercising as part of their daily routine? How is their diet?

Social Issues:
Ask your senior family member what their week is like. Who are their friends? What are they doing? Healthy aging requires maintaining physical and mental exercise and socialization. Do they belong to any clubs or church groups? How would they feel about attending an adult day care center for a chance to get out of the house and enjoy both mental and social stimulation?

Caregiving Issues:
Who is taking care of mom and/or dad? What are there day-to-day needs? Sometimes it is necessary to involve a family member or caregiving service to assist with care needs, at least part-time, as abilities change.

If you live far away from senior family members, take the time to investigate senior care options in their town when you are visiting. Find out what quality Senior Home Care Agencies are in their area and learn about senior service programs. Obtain names and numbers so you will be able to contact someone to assist if the need should arise. And if family is not nearby, seniors nationwide may turn to their local Area Agency on Aging to learn about community senior care services and programs such as meal delivery, transportation and senior activities.

Distance caring is a reality for many families. Thanksgiving is a joyous time to be together and give thanks that we have the opportunity to make decisions to better assist those we love to age well.

Tornadoes Spur Families to Review Disaster Plans

Deadly tornadoes ripped through the midwest this past weekend. 81 tornado reports were issued in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and in Ohio. The hardest hit was Illinois, Caregiverlist’s home state.

FEMA urges the families of elderly Americans, especially those with medical issues and limited mobility, to review, update and rehearse their disaster plans. And emergency disaster kit is a great idea so that if a disaster strikes, those most vulnerable will be confident they have what they need to “ride out the storm.”

Your disaster emergency kit (care of the FEMA) should include the supplies to last at least three days:

  • Water: at least one gallon per day per person for drinking and sanitation;
  • Food and utensils: foods that are ready to eat and not quickly perishable are ideal;
  • Blankets and extra clothing;
  • A first aid kit, including medical insurance and Medicaid cards;
  • A battery-powered radio and/or a NOAA weather radio;
  • A flashlight with extra batteries;
  • Prescription medicines: These should be rotated frequently and kept up to date;
  • Medical supplies: an extra pair of glasses, hearing-aid batteries and any other personally needed medical devices;
  • An emergency contact list: to reach family, friends and emergency numbers;
  • Extra cash: access to banks and ATMs may be limited for a time.

Your disaster plan should also include a choice of below-ground shelter if the senior lives alone. Make sure disaster preparedness is a question on your checklist if you are looking into choosing a nursing home for your loved one.

The American Red Cross reminds affected residents to return to their neighborhood only when officials say it is safe to do so.

They should also:

  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy shoes.
  • Avoid fallen power lines or broken gas lines - immediately report them to the utility companies.
  • If someone smells gas or hears a hissing noise, they should open a window, get everyone out of the building immediately and call the gas company or fire department
  • Use flashlights, not candles when examining buildings.

After a disaster, seniors especially can fall prey to scam artists looking to take advantage of the misfortunes of others. Look for legitimate assistance for services through your family member’s State Agency on Aging.

Consider hiring a Home Care Agency if you live a distance away from your senior loved one, so that someone is nearby and is ready to help.

Our hearts go out to those who lost family, friends and homes during these unexpected severe storms. If you’d like to help, you can donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

7 Gifts to Celebrate Certified Nursing Aides

The holidays are right around the corner and it’s the perfect time to recognize and appreciate the Certified Nurse's Aide in your life.

Scrubs magazine acknowledges that C.N.A.s are sometimes overlooked in discussions about the nursing profession. But they want to make sure all nurses get the credit they deserve. They’ve put together some incredible gifts and gear to celebrate the unsung heroes of the caregiving world.

Did You Ever Know That You’re My Hero…
You might feel a tad weird walking around with a CNA SuperNurse emblem on your scrubs top (or your cape). But having one on your coffee mug is a little more low-key. This design is available in a traditional ceramic cup with an easy grip handle or a travel mug to take on the go.

 

Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Glove
This little gift is very sweet! It’s got a short poem on the front about what it means to be a CNA. There’s also a list of all the colors of the M&M rainbow and what they stand for. Red is for kindness, blue is for your caring ways. The little candies are “tranquilizers” that you don’t need to write a prescription to share.

Keepin’ It Cool
Are you super chill like Santa at the North Pole? Now you can keep your soda just as cool with this Velcro can cozy. Plus, no one will be able to claim they didn’t know that was your Coke in the fridge.

Breakfast in Bed
It doesn’t matter how long you work in a hospital, seeing patients eating their meals in bed every day…you still secretly wish that your significant other would pamper you with a breakfast in bed once in a while. Give your loved one a strong hint by purchasing this serving tray. If you still don’t get the bedside service you want, tote it to the hospital cafeteria to give all the other nurses tray envy.


Are You Really a CNA?
Have you ever told a patient your coworker’s name and said to just give a yell if they need anything? That’s just one of 10 ways you know if you’re a CNA. This T-shirt is funny because it’s true! Plus, there’s plenty of room on the back for you to add more insights with a fabric marker, so go to town!

How Charming!
Rings, bracelets and necklaces can all be problematic for work wardrobes when you are a CNA. But these oval earrings are less than an inch long and made of aluminum, so they’re lightweight for everyday wear. The gloss finish with its custom design reminds patients of something they already know, “Nursing Assistants Make a Difference.”

Deck the Halls with CNAs
This porcelain holiday ornament lets you take your job home with you in a cheery way. It also makes a nice Secret Santa gift for an exchange at work or a stocking stuffer for a favorite CNA in your life. This ornament comes with a red ribbon so you don’t have to find a paperclip or a length of suture to hang it on the nearest tree.

Caregiverlist is proud to have partnered with Scrubs magazine, the nurse’s guide to good living, to offer a Scrub of the Month as a Grand Prize in our Refer-A-Friend program. If you know someone who has what it takes to be a great caregiver (you know the type — good work ethic, reliable, and above all, empathetic), fill out the form and we'll be happy to set them on a career path that offers the ability to make a huge difference in someone's life. And you might just win some great scrubs!

 

 

November is National Caregiver Month

Senior caregivers, whether they be Certified Nursing Aides, Home Health Aides, professional and family caregivers, or the community at large, are vital to the care and keep of our aging American population.

November is National Caregiver Month, and is the perfect opportunity to thank those who have made it a priority to provide home and health related services to the elderly, including physical and emotional support and assistance with activities of daily living.

Family (or informal) caregivers provided services valued at $450 billion per year in 2012, according the the AARP Public Institute. In the United States, 65.7 million caregivers make up 29% of the adult population providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged, and 50% have full-time employment outside the home.

Family caregivers cannot always fulfill all the needs of their senior loved ones. Future numbers are staggering — the aging population 65+ will more than double between the years 2000 and 2030, increasing to 71.5 million from 35.1 million (in 2000). That explains the incredible surge of senior care industry and the need for qualified professional caregivers.

The number of Senior Home Care Agencies has grown by 40% since 2008, according to a recent Caregiverlist employment index infographic. Caregiver jobs are filled at a rate of three to six hires per week, making professional senior care one of the hottest employment sectors in the United States.

The Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, works to ensure that older Americans can stay independent in their communities. Here are some of their suggested action ideas to show your appreciation for the caregiver in your life, in November and throughout the year:

Action Ideas to Celebrate Caregivers in November

  • Recognize caregivers in your community, in your organization and in your family. Host a get-together to honor caregivers in your family and/or community.
  • Locate a community care center or community space and organize a Caregivers Count awareness event.
  • Attend local town hall meetings and ask your representative what s/he is going to do to promote legislation that will help businesses develop more family-friendly caregiver policies.
  • Send an e-card to a caregiver. AoA offers free e-cards for caregivers.

  • Post on Facebook that November is National Caregivers Month and encourage your network to acknowledge caregivers in their families and communities.
  • Tweet about the importance of caregivers and resources available to caregivers.

We depend on professional and family caregivers. Give a shout-out to the caregivers in your life in the comments below.

Medicare Open Enrollment Deadline on the Horizon

If you or someone you know receives Medicare benefits, now is the time to review that coverage. Open enrollment for supplemental Medicare insurance, also known as Medigap, started on October 15 and ends on December 7. Seniors can change their Medicare supplemental health and drug coverage only during this open enrollment period.

Medicare is the government-sponsored healthcare coverage for Americans over 65 years of age. However, Medicare does not cover all healthcare costs. That’s why, during this open enrollment period, the elderly and senior caregivers can shop around for Medigap insurance.

Medicare supplemental insurance helps pay the "gap" between what Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) pays for your health care and what you pay out of your own pocket, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. There are four parts to Medigap insurance:

  • Part A: hospital insurance
  • Part B: medical insurance
  • Part C: Medicare Advantage (offered by private companies approved by Medicare, like an HMO)
  • Part D: prescription drug coverage

If a senior already has a Medicare Advantage plan or a stand-alone Part D plan, they will have received an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and/or Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from their plan. This is the time to review the plan's costs, benefits and rules for the upcoming year. Changes made to coverage will take effect January 1 of the next year.

It is recommended that you compare prices for all of your supplemental insurance. Caregiverlist has partnered with eHealth Medicare to provide Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan quotes outside “the Marketplace”. We invite you to shop around by going through this trusted Medicare Supplemental site or by calling 888-353-4215.

Understand the difference between the Fall Open Enrollment Period and Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The Health Insurance Marketplaces (also known as Exchanges) open enrollment for uninsured or underinsured Americans that began on October 1, 2013 has nothing to do with Medigap or Medicare supplemental coverage. The Marketplaces are not meant for people with Medicare. People with Medicare do not change their Medicare supplemental insurance through the government's HealthCare.gov.

5 Signs Your Caregiving Body is Sending You a Message (Listen to It!)

Senior caregivers tirelessly take care of their elderly clients — but not without sometimes paying a price. Tired? Sure. Achy? It’s to be expected. But sometimes your body is warning you of a more pressing problem. Here are some symptoms that may signal the need for a closer look.

1. Persistent stomach pain can be a sign that your job sucks, or it can be something more serious. If you have constant indigestion, alternating constipation or diarrhea, a feeling of fullness all the time, or pain in one spot or another that never goes away, off to the doctor you must go. It’s worth the time and trouble to determine what’s going on so you can eat and sleep again.

2. Back pain is normal for caregivers, unfortunately, but back or neck pain combined with weakness in an extremity or tingly, burning nerve pain is a sign that you’ve messed something up. Don’t work until you’ve figured it out. I speak from experience on this point, as I once had one arm just sort of stop working after I’d lifted too much weight too often. It was scary and painful, but ultimately fixable. Don’t play with your spine; it’s kind of important.

3. Take care of your feet and hands. Bone spurs, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, or plain old achiness and stiffness compromise your ability to work. Open wounds, torn cuticles or cracks in the skin of your hands can be avenues for infection. Keep fingernails and toenails short and filed. Bandage anything that might get dirt or worse in it. Remember to wear gloves, and wash your hands in lukewarm rather than hot water. Hospital soap is hard on some people, so see if maybe you can use your own. Change your shoes around frequently, and invest in good-quality orthotics if you need to. If your feet hurt, nothing feels right.

4. Daily headaches, tooth grinding or changes in vision should never be ignored. Maybe you need a neurological workup or a dental guard; maybe you just need a massage. Either way, that thing that sits atop your neck should be pampered.

5. Finally, if you’re snotty and coughing, achy or running a fever, or have a sore throat that won’t quit, please please please stay home. Even those of us who aren’t immunocompromised will thank you.

While you take care of others, make sure you take care of yourself. Senior caregivers are a precious commodity. If you know someone who would make a great caregiver, refer them to Caregiverlist so they can be part of a great team.

Refer-a-Friend to Caregiverlist

Simply provide us with your friend's name and email address and you will be entered into a monthly and weekly giveaway.

Monthly Grand Prize Winner: Scrub of the Month (top, bottoms and pair of shoes), courtesy of Scrubs Magazine.

Weekly Winners: A Caregiverlist t-shirt, lapel pin and a 10-hour online caregiver training program as a member of the Professional Association of Caregivers.

Scrubs Style: Looks for Fall 2013

Autumn is upon us in full force, and the rust and gold of changing leaves have supplanted the vivid hues of summer. Scrubs magazine, the nurse’s guide to good living, is a great supplier of fall fashion inspiration. Check out some of their scrub suggestions:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and one great way to show your support is through this adorable scrubs top. Wear it in October and all year long. May we suggest styling the top with pewter pants?



V-Neck top in “Dress for the Cure,” Dickies.com

Low rise drawstring pant in pewter, Dickies.com

”Turning Leaves” is the perfect name for your autumn scrubs look. Chocolate brown pants make those bright colors in the top really pop.

“Youtility” v-neck top in “Turning Leaves,” Dickies.com
Drawstring cargo pant in chocolate, CherokeeUniforms.com

Tartan for fall? Yes, please. This one features beautiful reds and oranges, and a square-neck top. Pair it with black pants for a clean look.

Square neck top in “Forever Tartan,” Dickies.com
Drawstring pant in black, Cherokee.com

Caregiverlist is proud to have partnered with Scrubs Magazine to offer a Scrub of the Month as a Grand Prize in our Refer-A-Friend program. If you know someone who has what it takes to be a great caregiver (you know the type — good work ethic, reliable, and above all, empathetic), fill out the form and we'll be happy to set them on a career path that offers the ability to make a huge difference in someone's life.

 

October is 'Protecting Older Americans from Fraud' Month

Senior citizens are easy prey for scam artists. From the Spring Break Grandparent Scam to the Medical Alert Scam and a host of others, the elderly are especially vulnerable to fraud schemes.

October is “Protecting Older Americans from Fraud” month, and the Better Business Bureau, in partnership with other agencies, suggest that families discuss with their senior family members how best to prevent their loss of money and security.

The BBB recommends these immediate steps:

  • Help put the senior's phone number on the Do Not Call registry.
  • Advise older Americans to never place outgoing bills in unsecured mailboxes.
  • Urge them to tell suspicious callers that they are going to check with the BBB before agreeing to anything and do so.
  • Tell unwanted solicitors to place the senior on the organization’s own do not call list, not to sell or share the senior’s information, and then hang up.

Senior identity theft, especially medical identity theft targeting the elderly, is nation's fastest-growing crime according to FBI statistics. Seniors living alone at home are not the only victims. Senior identity theft in long-term care, including nursing homes, assisted living, and in-home care are at risk of identity theft because their personal information is readily accessible by numerous individuals.

In addition to the action steps outlined above, the Better Business Bureau suggests you discuss the following common-sense practices with the senior in your life:

Mail

  • Never pay money to win a prize or sweepstakes.
  • Read all pages before considering the offer.
  • Contact the BBB BEFORE responding to a product/service offer or charity appeal.

Telephone

  • Never give out credit card or bank account numbers to unknown callers.
  • Ask for information in writing from charities.
  • Be skeptical of high pressure or emotional requests and hang up.
  • Never wire money to strangers.
  • Report all questionable calls to the BBB BEFORE responding to the offer.

In-Home

  • Never hire someone who just shows up at your door.
  • Get three estimates in writing.
  • Make sure the company is licensed and insured.
  • Contact the BBB BEFORE admitting an unknown person into your home or signing anything.

Email

  • Only give your personal email address to people you trust.
  • Instead of clicking a link in an email, type the address into your browser.
  • Visit the BBB’s website www.bosbbb.org to learn more about email “phishing”.

Caregiverlist previously blogged about senior scams during the holidays and the same advice holds true for all questionable dealings. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a scam or fraud, report it to your local police department and Department on Aging. You may help prevent others from becoming victims as well. And always perform a background check when hiring someone close to home.

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